In New Zealand, national holidays
have special inference for employment and commercial trading schedules.
For the purpose of employment, as provided by
today’s legislation, employees who work on a
national holiday must be given the same time off on
a different day, and be compensated for a day and a
half. Holidays exchanged for money is not allowed.
Although stores may be open on most national
holidays, there are special restrictions for trading
on Easter Sunday, Good Friday, Christmas Day and
before one in the afternoon on ANZAC Day. Garden
centers, in recent years, have been deliberately
violating these trade restrictions on Good Friday.
Before an act of legislation, garden centers were exempted
form special holiday restrictions.
In cities where tourism is main revenue source such as the
South Island’s Queenstown, some special consideration is
given by the council’s district for certain shops to open
during Easter Sunday and Good Friday.
The rationale behind this is to ensure up the level
of service given to tourists, as several would not
be aware that shops will be inaccessible during
those public holidays.
Nevertheless, the sale of
liquor sale is controlled in a number of those
national holidays. This is not really a big problem
since most shops are closed on those days.
In New Zealand, there are two kinds of public
holidays. They are Statutory Holidays (mandated by
law) and Provincial Anniversary Days (days that
commemorate the birth of a province or an event of
All these holidays are made into
law by numerous Acts of Parliament, in particular
the 2003 Holidays Act.
ANZAC and Waitangi Day are always celebrated on the exact
date since they commemorate specific events in history.
Except for Good Friday, other Statutory Holidays in New
Zealand have been Monday.
For instance, if January 1 or December 25 falls on a
Saturday or Sunday, then the Monday after that is
the Statutory Holiday for New Year's Day or
Christmas Day. If January 2 or December 26 falls on
a Saturday, then Boxing Day or the Day after New
Year's Day is observed on the following Monday. If
either of these days falls on a Sunday, then the
following Tuesday would be the holiday since the
Monday will have been celebrated for Christmas or
This rather confusing situation has been further
complicated by the most updated version of the
Holidays Act. In this Act, a holiday is only Monday-ised
if the employee does not go to work on weekends.
For instance, an employee who works from Monday to Friday
would receive the Statutory Holidays on the following Monday
(at times, Tuesday for those days that fall on a Sunday).
But employees who usually work on Saturdays would not
receive the holiday on Monday since they didn’t have work on
that particular Saturday.
In addition to this, the 1981 Holidays Act specifies each
region observing a Provincial Anniversary Day to observe the
landing days or founding days of the pioneer colonists of
the different provincial colonies.